When I smile, my gums show too much, much more than my teeth. It makes me hesitant to smile. Is there something my dentist can do? Should I go see a cosmetic dentist or a specialist?
Ariel, from Tallahassee, Florida
You are right to seek a specialist, as there are multiple ways to fix a ‘gummy’ smile; however, it requires a great deal of skill.
One way is to go see an oral surgeon, however, getting surgery has complications. The surgeon will likely shorten your upper jaw. Doing so may throw off your bite, and cause TMJ complications. TMJ is a serious problem with your jaw joint.
If you opt to see a cosmetic dentist, they will likely remove some gum tissue and bone beneath it; this is known as a gum lift. A highly skilled cosmetic dentist will place porcelain veneers over what is exposed. This is a long process, but the result is very natural looking.
If the surgeon shortens your front teeth, instead of keeping them all the same length, it can also cause TMJ damage. You will need an experienced cosmetic dentist to do your surgery. Be sure to check a prospective dentist’s smile gallery on their website.
This blog post is brought to you by Colorado Springs TMJ dentist, Dr. Joseph Rota, of Rota Advanced Dental Care.